The Art of Brand Naming

“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” is perhaps one of the most famous lines written by William Shakespeare. In it, he writes that a name is just a name, but names have great power according to modern psychology.

Indeed, they can make or break a brand or product.

Good names should be evocative of the qualities that you hope to advertise and pack a memorable punch.

Alexandra Watkins owns a branding company in the bay area entitled, “Eat My Words.” She claims that a brand name is the greatest investment that you can make in your company and has created the names for a frozen yogurt company, “Spoon Me,” a dating website, “Jazzed,” and an janitorial service company, “Eat my Dust.”

Watkins claims that good brand names should be suggestive, meaningful, contain imagery, and be emotional — after all, tugging at those heartstrings is the secret to advertising.

People are attracted to concepts that they understand and know like love, happiness, longevity and truth.

Many popular brand names for cars evoke luxury or speed like Lexus, Corvette or Jaguar. Hershey’s Kisses are affectionate, Three Musketeers are adventurous and Reese’s are smooth with peanut butter filling. Ghirardelli chocolate simply sounds like decadence.

Before you think up the name for your company or product — sense how it will feel first. Brainstorm short, sweet, simple and emotive words that pack a punch. Try mixing them up and combining them.

It might help to have a naming party with people who are closely involved with your company or to create an inspiration board with images to capture what you hope for your name to convey.

Bring out the mood lighting and vino for this creative task.  Once you are armed with the right brand name, you are ready for the races!

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